The Xi'an International Football Centre is being built with a 60,000 seating capacity. Credit: Zaha Hadid Architects.
The new stadium is expected to host international and domestic sports matches. Credit: Hitachi Elevator (China) Co, Ltd.
Zaha Hadid Architects and Intelligent Design for Emerging Architecture (iDEA) provided architectural design services for the project. Credit: Zaha Hadid Architects.

The Xi’an International Football Centre is a new stadium being built in Fengdong New City, Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province in the northwestern part of China.

The new stadium will be able to host national and international football matches along with domestic league games. It will also be used for training academies, as well as entertainment and cultural events.

The Xi’an International Football Centre will be connected to Xi’an’s expanding metro network. The main body and structure of the stadium were completed in November 2021.

Design details of the Chinese football stadium

Spanning 239,000m², the new stadium is being developed in line with the standards set by the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for international football matches. It is expected to have a seating capacity of 60,000.

The saddle-shaped seating bowl was designed using digital modelling to provide an optimised view from all the seats.

The roof is designed with an ultra-lightweight long-span cable-net structure to reduce load and material footprint.

The unique design also incorporates wide roof overhangs to protect the facilities within the building.

A translucent membrane over the seating bowl provides protection from sunlight and inclement weather conditions.

The facade is designed to protect the stadium from the northerly winds. The design allows natural light to provide optimum conditions for the growth of grass on the playing surface. It will provide an enhanced experience for spectators and players.

The stadium will also feature public areas, recreation and dining facilities in a series of shaded south-facing garden terraces, which provide views of the city and Qing Mountain.

Plants will be incorporated on all levels of the terraces and public concourses. The football centre will be equipped with 41 elevators and 52 escalators.

Project background

An international design competition for building the football stadium for the upcoming 2023 Asian Cup was announced by the local government of Xi’an in 2020.

Several international architectures such as IDOM, OMA, Creative Prototyping Unit and Zaha Hadid Architects proposed their architectural designs and concepts.

The OMA design team included Buro Happold, MIC, Transsolar, dUCKS, WT Partnership, Loom on the Moon, SANLab, Luxigon, Negativ, and RJ Models.

IDOM partnered with Beijing Institute for Architecture Design (BIAD) for the design competition.

Zaha Hadid Architects presented the final design for the Xi’an International Football Centre stadium in August 2020.

Xi’an, Beijing, Dalian, Xiamen, Chongqing, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, and Suzhou were selected as the host cities for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in December 2019. China, however, pulled out from hosting in May 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contractors involved

Zaha Hadid Architects, a British architecture and design firm, in collaboration with Intelligent Design for Emerging Architecture (iDEA) provided the architectural design for the project. Zaha Hadid Architects was selected as the winner of the design competition.

Lichtvision Design, a lighting consultant based in Germany, is responsible for artificial lighting for the Xi’an International Football Centre.

Hitachi Elevator (China), part of Hitachi, was contracted to provide elevators and escalators for the project in March 2022.

Arcplus Institute of Shanghai Architectural Design & Research, a member of Arcplus Group, was engaged to serve as the local design institute.

SD Road Machinery, a construction equipment supplier based in China, was contracted to provide tower cranes for the construction of the stadium.